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Minor repairs ahead for Mercury Park rink

Alex Doty • Jul 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

The inline skating rink at Grand Haven Township’s Mercury Park is safe from the jackhammer, at least for the time being.

The Township Board hosted a work session Monday night to discuss future options for the rink, which earlier this year was considered for replacement in favor of pickleball courts — a plan met with resistance by the inline hockey community.

“Basically, we were asked to look at different options,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “We looked at seven different options.”

Option choices ranged from doing nothing to the rink, removing the rink and installing a grass sports field, and replacing the facility with pickleball courts.

The Township Board decided to make minimal repairs to the rink, which will give officials more time to track use of the facility before a permanent plan is developed.

“I’ll probably give us another year or two until the cracks reappear,” Cargo said.

The repairs, slated to cost $4,000, would consist of sealing cracks on the rink’s surface. Cargo noted that the township already has money in its budget for the repairs, and added that the cost could be reduced to as low as $1,000 if the work was done by township public works staff.

Those who use the rink for inline hockey say they are happy with Monday night’s news.

“I am very pleased with how they handled that,” said Sean Kittredge, who helped organize an internet petition to save the rink.

Kittredge said he’s used the rink to play inline hockey since he was a child. On Monday, he said he appreciated how the Township Board and staff listened to what everyone had to say about maintaining the rink at the park. 

Kittredge said he plans to work on organizing an adult inline hockey league to play at the rink, and hopes the league will help increase the use of the facility.

Other options discussed by the Township Board on Monday night include: 

— Do nothing:

This option would allow for the continued use of the rink with the understanding that it will eventually have to be repaired or replaced as it continues to deteriorate. This option postpones any decision to a date when the decision may become clearer. There is no immediate capital cost associated with this option.

— Significant repairs ($85,000):

The rink would be crack sealed, re-coated/colored, new custom-built boards would be installed in damaged areas, and fence material would be replaced.

— Replace with grass multipurpose field ($15,000):

The rink would be removed and replaced with a grass multipurpose field, with a sprinkler system. The development of a different recreation facility could occur at a later date based on recognized recreation needs.

— Replace with new 4-inch concrete rink ($239,000):

The existing rink would be replaced with a 180-by-80-foot rink of concrete that is 4 inches thick. The board system would be new, at a cost of about $85,000. To minimize cracking, the concrete would have saw-cut joints, which will have some impact on inline skating.

— Replace with new post-tensioned concrete rink ($316,000):

This option would remove the existing rink and replace with a 180-by-80-foot rink of post-tensioned concrete that would eliminate or minimize most cracking. The board system would be new, at a cost of about $85,000.

— Replace with pickleball courts ($275,000):

The rink would be replaced by pickleball courts, with fencing and seating, using post-tensioned concrete to maximize its life and maintenance. Asphalt or 4-inch concrete with saw-cut joints could reduce construction costs.

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